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A Lieutenant Colonel, abbreviated Lt. Col., is a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force in the pay grade of O-5. Lieutenant Colonels are in the middle tier of officers, known as field grade officers. Lieutenant Colonels can serve as commanders of units up to and including the wing level. Lieutenant Colonels can also serve as staff members and assistants to general officers at higher commands, such as the Pentagon. A Lieutenant Colonel can be recognized by the distinctive silver oak leaf rank insignia on dress uniforms, or subdued black oak leaf rank insignia on working uniforms such as the ABU (Airman Battle Uniform) and flight suits. An officer must have at least 16 years total time in service, and three years time in grade as a Major (O-4), to be eligible for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.